Russell McLendon’s investigation for Mother Nature Network reveals just which toxins are in your state’s drinking water:
…The U.S. government had virtually no oversight of drinking-water quality before the 1970s, leaving the job to a patchwork of local laws that were often weakly enforced and widely ignored. It wasn’t until Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 that the newly formed EPA could set national limits on certain contaminants in tap water. Congress later bolstered the agency’s powers with amendments in 1986 and ’96.
But despite four decades of work that made U.S. tap water safer in general, a flood of dangers still lurk below the surface. In a 2009 report, the EPA warned that “threats to drinking water are increasing,” adding that “we can no longer take our drinking water for granted.” And late last year, the Environmental Working Group proved the EPA right, issuing a landmark report that chromium-6 is prevalent in at least 35 U.S. cities’ water supplies. Made famous by the 2000 movie “Erin Brockovich,” chromium-6 is listed as a probable human carcinogen, and the EPA is now considering whether to regulate it nationally.
The Safe Drinking Water Act covers 91 contaminants, but there are tens of thousands of chemicals used in the U.S., including more than 8,000 monitored by the EPA, and many of their health effects remain unclear…
[continues at Mother Nature Network]